The Rev Helen MacArthur has been appointed Non–Stipendiary Priest–in–Charge of the Ardclinis and Tickmacrevan, Layde and Cushendun Group of Parishes.
The 66–year–old worked in nursing, beginning her career in 1962 and taking early retirement from her post as an orthopaedic nurse tutor in 1997. She trained as a diocesan lay reader, but went back as a staff nurse in Thompson House, Lisburn, for a further 10 years.
During this time Helen continued as a lay reader, and finally in 2005 she gave in to the call she had had to ordination. She trained for three years at the Church of Ireland Theological Institute, Dublin, and was ordained a Deacon in 2008 and a Priest in 2009. Since 2008 she has been curate assistant in Derriaghy Parish.
Originally brought up in Holywood Parish, Helen was later a Sunday School Superintendent in Eglantine for many years.
She said she was looking forward to the challenges ahead. “I am looking forward to meeting and getting to know the people of the Glens and to taking my three dogs for walks at the seaside – if I get the time,” she said. “I am also looking forward to the challenge of being in a parish on my own.”
Helen will take services every Sunday morning in all three of the Parish churches, Cushendall, Carnlough and Glenarm.
Among the other things to challenge and excite the Ardclinis Group’s new priest–in–charge is Summer Madness 2012 which will be held in the grounds of Glenarm Castle from June 29 – July 3. “I am really looking forward to that,” Helen said.